Monday, 4 June 2018
One of the most interesting press releases to have emanated from Northern Ballet recently was the announcement of the appointment of Kenneth Tindall as artistic director digital and choreographer in residence (see Northern Ballet appoints Kenneth Tindall to Artistic Staff 31 May 2018). Many congratulations to Kenneth! It could not have happened to a nicer fellow. And congratulations also to Northern Ballet. A very savvy decision. I am sure that Kenneth will do an excellent job.
Kenneth is, of course, very well established. Two young dancers who are beginning to rise in their careers are Thomas van Damme and Yuanyuan Zhang of the Dutch National Ballet. Thomas and Yuanyuan have their own YouTube channel called "The Ballet Couple". I first wrote about them last September in The Ballet Couple. Since then, Yuanyuan has been promoted to grand sujet and Thomas from élève to the corps.
Every week they offer some tips about dancing. Last Friday, for instance they discussed the ideal age to take up and the time to retire from ballet. On when to start ballet they said that it is possible to begin at any age unless you want to dance professionally. For adult ballet students - particularly for those of us who have taken it up or resumed it very late in life - that is very encouraging. But it is also good to know that you don't have to start too early even if you want to go on stage.
As for when to retire Thomas and Yuanyuan said that it is very much a personal matter and they discussed some of the factors that dancers consider. When I asked Yuanyuan about her long term ambitions five years ago she said that she said her immediate aim was to get into the main but company but in the future she could see herself as a ballet master.
In other clips Yuanyuan talks about pointe shoes and there is a lovely film on the opening night gala.
However, it is not all about ballet.
On Tuesday for example they suggested using a pint class as a loud speaker. It does work Thomas. It's the same principle as a megaphone. I am a bit more dubious about hanging a second hanger from the aluminium ring pull of a drinks can. I can think up all sorts of problems like collapsing wardrobe rails and scrunched up clothes. Probably cheaper and easier to buy Probably cheaper and easier to get another wardrobe or at least a clothes rail from Ikea. I preferred the previous film about an elegant way of opening a packet of corn chips and I guess it would also work for crisps.
There are also some charming videos about celebrating a national holiday, food that dancers really eat, opening a package of Chinese goodies and a really soppy one "Yes together until we die."